Fear of flying is a problem that can limit people’s lives. People usually have tried everything they can think of that is conventional (mainstream) to get help with fear of flying, and only then do they look for more unconventional approaches like hypnotherapy. Below I will explain what is fear of flying, the symptoms, how you develop fear of flying and relevant statistics. Then I will go over the different treatments available and finally, how fear of flying hypnosis can help eliminate your fear of flying permanently.
What is Fear of Flying?
People with fear of flying may be scared about different aspects of flying, such as take-off, landing or getting locked in the plane. Statistics show that air travel has the lowest death rates among other forms of transportation, but you can’t reason your way out of the anxiety.
Most people with a fear of flying aren’t actually afraid of the plane crashing. Some have a claustrophobic reaction, they have an overwhelming fear of being trapped and cannot escape. Some are scared they will have a panic attack while on a plane can cannot get off. Others experience a fear of heights. Some fear being scared and they are overly conscious of all physical sensations. Fear of flying is actually a phobia.
Emotional Symptoms of Fear of flying
Physical Symptoms of Fear of Flying
What is a Phobia?
A phobia is an intense fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. A phobia is a persistent, excessive, unrealistic fear of an object, person, animal, activity or situation that leads to an intense desire to avoid it. If they’re unable to avoid the phobia, then very distressing symptoms will develop. It is a type of anxiety disorder. Fear of flying is a phobia.
What Are Emotions?
Emotions are made of two things: thoughts and thoughts comprise images, colour, movies, sound, dialogue, and talking to ourselves and others in our heads. The second part of emotions is a physical sensation in our bodies. Sometimes people will say I have butterflies in my stomach to represent anxiety. They might get a tight chest when you get angry and hot in the face when embarrassed. People who have panic attacks have extreme physical sensations like sweating, shaking, dizziness, pins and needles, heart racing, burning, and many more.
During normal life, when not having a panic attack/phobia, most of the physical sensations in your body you are completely unaware of because they are so mild compared to a panic attack/phobia. They are the same sensations but much milder. Sometimes you may be present to the emotions and sometimes you’re not even present to them. It really depends on the intensity of the emotion.
The reason you are unaware of these sensations is because when they happen, they may be mild and over time you get used to them and eventually you can no longer feel it. It has become subconscious outside your conscious awareness. Think of wearing a watch for the first time. At first you can feel it all the time, then after two weeks of wearing a watch, you can no longer feel the watch. The sensation of it on your wrist has become subconscious.
So emotions comprise thoughts and physical sensations in the body combined they form our emotions. When people have panic attacks/phobia, these emotions and physical sensations become very intense and leave our subconscious and enter our conscious awareness.
What is Fear of Flying Made Of?
As I have described above in “What Are Emotions?” panic attacks/phobia comprise thoughts, usually the memory of a previous panic attack/phobia, and the accompanying physical sensations like sweating, shaking, dizziness, pins and needles, heart racing, burning and many more. These physical sensations are really intense, to the point the person having the panic attack/phobia cannot function or think of anything else.
The Difference Between Panic Attack and Phobia
A phobia presents the same as a panic attack, except they are anchored to a single trigger, where panic attacks have no single trigger. People who have panic attacks fear the panic attack, while people with a phobia are actually scared of the object of the fear that triggers the panic attack, the phobia.
What Causes Fear of Flying?
Some are easy to pin down, like fear of heights, fear of crashing, fear of being trapped. Then we have the more complex ones where people have flown their whole life with no problem, only to develop the fear gradually over time. They could have been hung over or have food poisoning, so when they flew, they felt real bad and those feelings then got anchored to flying. So each time they flew after that, they experienced the same feelings and they gradually built up over time until they are anxious about flying.
Others could have had a terrible flight with lots of turbulence or engine failure of emergency landing, and their anxiety got anchored to flying, and each time they flew after that, the anxiety built up. It may stem from childhood (perhaps if the individual’s parents showed similar fear).
Some people suggest that fears may increase at significant points in a person’s life, after having children, for instance.
Living With a Fear of Flying
Having a fear of flying can often interfere with personal holidays and business trips. This can lead to people avoiding career paths that involve travel or even missing out on family holidays abroad.
And it’s not just whilst on a plane that anxiety can set in. If you're afraid of flying, anything from booking a holiday, arriving at an airport or even thinking about getting on a plane can trigger feelings of anxiety.
It’s important to note that not everyone who suffers from a fear of flying will experience the same amount of distress. Experiences can range from mild anxiety before flying, to a state of terror which can prevent a person from getting on the plane.
How is Fear of Flying Diagnosed?
There isn’t a specific diagnostic test for fear of flying. Your healthcare provider will carefully review your symptoms and ask you a variety of questions about your fear of flying. Fear of flying can range from mild (you’ll fly if you have to, but it makes you anxious) to severe (you’ve refused to fly for more than five years).
Your healthcare provider may diagnose you with a specific phobic disorder, such as fear of flying, if you:
- Develop symptoms at the thought of the fearful object or situation, such as airplanes or air travel.
- Experience your fear for six months or longer.
- Go out of your way to avoid the object or situation you fear.
- Have difficulty functioning at home, work or in social situations because of your fear.
Statistics of Fear of Flying
Between 33% and 40% of all people experience some form of anxiety when it comes to flying.
60% of sufferers experience generalised anxiety during the flight (and leading up to it) that they can easily manage on their own.
Between 2.5% and 5% of the population have crippling anxiety. A genuine fear of flying is classified as a clinical phobia.
Fear of flying statistics shows this anxiety disorder is quite prevalent among the population, and can negatively affect a person’s quality of life. This disorder is often manifest in adults, with an average reported first fear of flying “attack” at the age of 27.
Being scared of flying is not something we can just write off as unimportant and statistically irrelevant.
Hypnotherapy for Fear of Flying Reviews
Fear of Flying
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
My trip was awesome. I did not worry about a thing going to the airport, going on the plane etc.
It was just wonderful.
You are a magician.
Farewell Fear of Driving
The sense of pure relief and happiness was phenomenal.
The burden and constant pressure of not wanting to drive, coupled with no one being able to really understand my anxiety, was also gone.
I felt liberated and still do. My only wish is I had found hypnotherapy earlier, in 2 hours a 10-year anxiety had just vanished.
Fear of Heights
I am just checking back in to let you know I recently conquered my fear of heights on our trip to Europe.
It was a huge ask as we ascended Mt Titlis in Switzerland, as it is over 10000ft high.
I can't thank you enough for the help and positivity you gave me. Without that I would have missed a beautiful experience. A big thank you again.
Fear of Flying Medical Treatment Options?
Many people can work on overcoming their fear of flying with psychotherapy.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on helping you change the way you think about flying. It might include learning about how planes work, or reviewing safety statistics for air travel versus other forms of travel.
Your therapist can also teach you techniques to manage certain triggers. For example, deep breathing or meditation during take-off, landing, or turbulence can reduce your symptoms of anxiety. You can also learn to “talk back” to negative thoughts about flying when they arise.
Exposure therapy: This type of therapy gradually exposes you to places, thoughts, or situations that relate to air travel. You may visit an airport and watch planes arrive and depart. Virtual reality tools, such as computer simulations of flights, can also help you overcome your fear of flying.
Medication isn’t very effective for the long-term management of fear of flying or other specific phobic disorders. But if you have to fly and worry about having a panic attack, your healthcare provider may recommend anti-anxiety drugs on an as-needed basis.
Suggestions on how to cope include:
- Avoid ‘self-talk’ that focuses your attention on your symptoms.
- Focus your attention on something outside your own body and symptoms. For example, distract yourself by practising relaxation breathing techniques.
Learn how to control your breathing – Hyperventilation brings on many sensations (such as lightheadedness and tightness of the chest) that occur during an attack. Deep breathing can relieve the symptoms of attacks. By learning to control your breathing, you can calm yourself down when you begin to feel anxious.
Practice relaxation techniques – When practised regularly, activities such as yoga, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation lower your anxiety levels. And not only do these relaxation practices promote relaxation, they lower your general anxiety levels, making it easier to cope with life and any anxiety you may have.
How to Eliminate Fear of Flying?
So the only way possible to eliminate fear of flying is to remove or disconnect all emotions and physical sensations associated with your anxiety around flying.
Can you think of an acquaintance that you bump into now and then maybe you talk to them maybe you don’t maybe it’s someone you see on the train going to work, well you don’t have many emotions associated with them so you don’t think of them ever unless you see them and you don’t think of them much or for long. This is what will happen when we remove the emotions associated with fear of flying. You just will stop worrying about it.
So by removing the emotions and thoughts of fear of flying, we are effectively stopping you from having any of the thoughts or fears from crossing your mind, you will remember you used to have a fear of flying but you just won’t be able to have anxiety or panic for flying anymore.
So as you can see, emotions are the cause and solution to your problem.
Remove Emotions Using Hypnotherapy for Fear of Flying
Well, the only way I know we can achieve this is through using NLP and hypnotherapy for fear of flying, by removing the emotions associated with them. But be careful not all hypnotherapists practising fear of flying hypnotherapy know how to work with emotions and remove them.
Different Types of Fear of Flying Hypnotherapy
Most hypnotherapy approaches don’t work to eliminate the fear of flying in this way. Most hypnotherapists work by introducing suggestions into your subconscious mind to change your thoughts and hence your behaviours, so it can work great with behaviour problems but not emotions. Unfortunately, most hypnotherapists are taught this behavioural suggestion type of hypnotherapy fear of flying.
As a Hypnotherapist, I was lucky to be taught by someone who knew how to work with emotions, and I have helped many people with all sorts of problems, including hypnotherapy, for fear of flying by removing anchored emotions from the fear of flying.
So we will remove all emotions and physical sensations that trigger the fear of flying.
Test at the End of My Hypnosis for Fear of Flying Sessions
At the end of my hypnosis for fear of flying sessions is a test, I get you to go back to all the times you can remember having a fear of flying and you won’t be able to get any of the old emotions, and physical sensations from those memories. This means you will not automatically go into your old automatic emotions and behaviours from the past because we have broken the old patterns. This is how we know the hypnotherapy for fear of flying session has worked.
These days I am seeing more and more people with this problem and helping them eliminate their fear of flying so they can have a more fulfilling life.
More On Fear of Flying Hypnosis?
Would you like to learn more about how Synergy hypnotherapy can help you eliminate your fear of flying and related problems? So you can feel more relaxed, happier being able to cope with life easier and things just won't bother you like they used to.
Then visit our Anxiety service's page or...